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An innovative structure that drives research excellence

QCMHR was first established by Queensland Health in 1987 as a clinical inpatient research unit at The Park Centre for Mental Health in Wacol, Brisbane, and is now a state-wide service hosted by the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service (a regional health and hospital service under the Queensland Health umbrella).

By 1996, the decentralisation of mental health care to hospital and health services across the state, combined with the closure of The Park’s inpatient research unit allowed QCMHR to become a research-intensive organisation where expenditure could be directed to discovering new knowledge about mental disorders. This philosophy has since led to breakthroughs that have expanded our knowledge of how to prevent, treat, and improve services, for people with mental disorders. While the QCMHR centre administration and several research streams remain located at the Park Centre for Mental Health, the centre has expanded to work across Queensland, and with national and international collaborators. 

Like several other hospital-based research centres in Queensland, QCMHR has a formal research partnership with The University of Queensland (UQ) via its School of Public Health and Queensland Brain Institute. The partnership has many benefits for both partners – allowing access to funding opportunities, research facilities, and clinical populations that would not be easily available if partners were acting alone. It also allows us to combine our expertise in mental health research excellence, reduce duplication of effort, and translate mental health research outcomes into policy and practice more easily across the state and nationally. The partnership has proven a major success for mental health research in Queensland, with benefits – not only for people at risk of, or living with, mental illness – but for future generations.

With core operational funding provided by Queensland Health, our research and other activities are funded through competitive grants and tenders, and conducted under the QCMHR umbrella by leading mental health clinicians and researchers who often hold joint appointments with:

  • Queensland Health’s Metro North, Metro South and West Moreton, Hospital and Health Services;
  • The University of Queensland’s School of Public Health and Queensland Brain Institute; and
  • QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.
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Operational structure

QCMHR is a state-wide service that is organisationally part of Queensland Health, with its headquarters located geographically within the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service. The centre is led by Director, Professor John McGrath, and a broader leadership team who meet bi-monthly to determine the strategic direction of the Centre. Assistant Director, Dr Duncan McLean leads the centre’s daily operations, guided by the leadership team.

QCMHR’s organisational structure is outlined in the diagram below.

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